Gifts for the Homeless (“GFTH”), a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, is a wholly volunteer-run organization that serves the homeless of the Washington, D.C. area in two ways. First, during the group’s clothing drive each December, GFTH solicits used clothing from area law firms, corporate legal departments, and government legal personnel to donate to area shelters and transitional housing facilities. During the clothing drive, GFTH received thousands of large bags of used clothing which are donated to over 70 shelters, soup kitchens and transitional homes. Typically, more than 300 volunteers help sort and deliver the clothing donations – which include sweaters, coats, hats, gloves sleeping bags, blankets, pants, shoes, and boots – rendering much needed help for those in shelters and soup kitchens.
Second, GFTH solicits funds (within Washington, D.C. only), which it uses to purchase new items of warm clothing, including long underwear, hats, blankets, gloves, underwear, and socks. The funds GFTH recieves from public donors are used to purchase and distribute new clothing for area shelters and soup kitchens. All donations are tax-deductible.
GFTH donates used clothing to over 70 shelters or other organizations serving the needy in the D.C. area each year, and approximately 30 organizations receive new clothing donations. Donations are made to transitional shelters, shelters sponsored by local churches, a home for men with AIDS, shelters for battered women and children – and with 1600 beds – the largest shelter for men, women, and children in Washington, D.C. GFTH has no “favorite” shelter or chosen clientele. Rather, all of DC’s homeless are potentially beneficiaries of the gifts that, with your assistance, GFTH can provide. In 2002, for the first time, we reached several shelters in the Maryland and Virginia suburbs of Washington, and we have expanded our reach even further in each year since then.
GFTH is governed by a 20 plus member board of directors and a number of officers. In addition, each participating law firm or legal organization designates a person to act as a volunteer coordinator. These individuals coordinate the collection of used clothing and monetary donations and help recruit volunteers for the clothing drive.
Since GFTH has no paid staff and no overhead, every single dollar that GFTH receives from public donations is used to purchase and distribute new clothes for the various shelters. All of the group’s expenses, including postage, supplies for the used clothing drive, food and refreshments, and even the cost of maintaining this web site, are paid for and provided by area law firms, vendors, or members of the board of directors. In this way, GFTH maximizes the value of all donations made.